On the weekend of May 4th, a street sign was unveiled in Staten Island, New York, bearing the name “Wu-Tang Clan District”. The Saturday of the unveiling, several Wu-Tang members, New York City’s council people and representatives, and culture advocate LeRoy McCarthy (who had been campaigning for the street naming) turned out for the ceremony.
The ceremony took place at the corner of Vanderbilt Avenue and Targee Street, where the acclaimed rap group’s music video “Can It All Be So Simple” was filmed. Along with this, November 9th has officially been declared as Wu-Tang Clan Day on Staten Island.
The rap group has had an impacting and long career, that can be traced all the way back to 1992. The name of the group is derived from a mythical kung-fu sword carried by an invincible group of warriors. With several members who have all pursued solo projects, the group has stayed consistent in having members Ol’ Dirty Bastard, RZA, GZA, Method Man, Raekwon the Chef, Ghostface Killah, U-God, Inspectah Deck, Masta Killa, and the ‘unofficial’ tenth member Cappadonna. Over time, the sound of the group was instantly recognizable with their surreal sounding backtracks, hard rapping, and warped humor and martial arts imagery. The rap group created an individual sound that contributed to their notoriety as hip-hop revolutionaries.
Though offered a variety of record deals, the group chose a deal that would allow them each to branch out into solo projects. And they did, with some finding more success than the others (like Method Man). The group has also had a variety of collaborators, known as the Wu-Tang Killa Bees.
The Wu-Tang Clan has been cited as an inspiration for other rap/hip-hop well-known acts, like Kanye West and Jay-Z. The Rolling Stone has plainly branded them as “the best rap group ever”. The rap group has released eight studio albums, not including their solo releases. Their most recent album, The Saga Continues, was released in 2017.
Having a unique sound and notoriety in the hip-hop world, it’s no surprise Wu-Tang Clan is being honored in their place of origin. Being a source of great music and inspiration for the musical acts that emerged after them, the Wu-Tang Clan’s recognition is very well deserved.